Former security branch police officer to testify at Neil Aggett Inquest

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The inquest into the death of anti-apartheid activist, Neil Aggett, will continue in the High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Former security branch police officer, Paul Erasmus, who was initially scheduled to testify on Monday is expected to make his appearance.

Aggett was found hanging in his cell at the then John Vorster Square Police Station on 5 February 1982. The security branch says he committed suicide but Aggett’s family strongly disputes that claim.

On Monday, former student activist Keith Coleman testified about the commotion in the corridors of John Vorster Square Police Station on the night Aggett died.

Coleman said for too long he lived with the belief that Aggett had committed suicide because of the pressure of the interrogation.

“I can trace that belief to the moment when Makveesen told me that Neil had been found hanging in his cell. And the picture formed at that moment, people running past the cell, I immediately formed a view that they were running on the news that they’d found him hanging in his cell. In retrospect, there’s nothing to say that those people were not running for a different purpose. So there is an alternative explanation, there is no reason to say that those people were not running in to bring Neil’s body into the cells, or something else,” says Coleman.

Watch a related video below: